Industry

Gary Gaines, General Manager of Affiliates Becomes Sixth CrossFit Executive to Leave Company in 2022

December 24, 2022 by and
Photo Credit: Training Day Media, CrossFit
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As the tumultuous year grinds to a close for CrossFit HQ, one more C-Suite/Director level executive will be leaving the company, bringing the total to six in 2022.

A December 23, 2022 email to affiliate owners from CrossFit CEO, Don Faul stated that “We deeply value our affiliates’ trust in CrossFit and are committed to keeping you informed about changes here at HQ. In the spirit of timely transparency, I wanted to let you know that as of this past Wednesday, Gary Gaines is no longer with CrossFit.” 

Barbend.com first reported this story on Friday.

One big thing: Gaines is the sixth C-suite or Director level executive to transition out of their position with the company in the past year, once again signaling a significant amount of uncertainty among CrossFit LLC’s top leadership for the future of the company.

  • On May 16, Jeremy Landis, CrossFit’s Chief Technology Officer announced that he was stepping down from his position after a 17-month tenure.
  • Alison Andreozzi was named as the “interim head of CrossFit,” after Eric Roza stepped down as CEO, then Dave Castro was rehired by the company as a “key affiliate advisor.”
  • During the CrossFit Games week, on August 2, Don Faul, a Marine veteran and leader in fitness tech, was named the new CEO of CrossFit. Faul, a combat veteran and former platoon commander, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, has held key roles at several technology companies including Pinterest, Meta, and Google. Most recently he was CEO of Athos, a smart apparel company that offers technology that tracks data on muscle activity.
  • On August 26, Jason Dunlop, the (now former) president of CrossFit announced that he was leaving the company to take a lead role at Orangetheory Fitness on his public LinkedIn account.
  • In September, the Chief Marketing Officer, Erin Clift, announced that she would be leaving CrossFit as well, although did not announce where she would move.

Remind Me: Gaines, who had previously worked as COO at Soul Cycle, came aboard HQ with former CEO Eric Roza in 2020 and played a large role in the shift towards globalization and the affiliate-focused mentality CrossFit has put forth in recent years. 

  • During his tenure, Gaines helped launch Roza’s “Affiliates First” agenda. In August, CrossFit released a “Content Kit” to help affiliates “re-energize” the CrossFit brand. Gaines aided in the creation and rollout of this program. 
  • Gaines was also part of CrossFit’s COVID response team. 

Now what?: In the same email announcing Gaines’ departure, CEO Faul announced that Austin Malleolo would step in, effective immediately, to serve as the interim GM of Affiliates.

  • Faul to affiliate owners: “This transition will ensure that you remain equipped with the tools and support you need to continue uniting and growing the CrossFit community.”
  • Malleolo is a well-known Games veteran, co-founder of the HAM Plan, long-time CrossFit seminar staff member, former affiliate owner and most recently served under Gaines as the Director of North American Gym Operations.

The bottom line: How much turnover is too much turnover at the executive level in less than a year? The picture is becoming clear that CrossFit is moving into a rebuilding phase for 2023, but what about the rebuilding phase that started in 2020? The 2022 CrossFit Games were undoubtedly a success, but it’s hard not to view the executive team as treading water at best right now.

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